Under the Vines on Acorn TV is a show that fizzes and pops with romance and possibility as it sees two mismatched city dwellers thrown together when they inherit a failing New Zealand vineyard.
Here’s our complete guide to the sun-dappled, six-part comedy-drama featuring an exclusive interview with Downton Abbey star Charles Edwards...
'Under the Vines' — plot
Inheriting a vineyard in New Zealand may seem like a dream come true, but for stuffy London lawyer Louis Oakley it’s a living nightmare that he wants to put a cork in.
Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, The Crown) and Rebecca Gibney (The Flying Doctors, Wanted) star as the cheeky pairing of bottled-up Louis and effervescent Sydney socialite Daisy Munroe.
These two lost souls are brought together In Acorn TV’s lighthearted new six-part series when they jointly inherit Oakley Winery after the death of Louis’ uncle Stanley, who was also Daisy’s stepdad.
'Under the Vines' season 1 release date
Under the Vines lands on Acorn TV from Monday Jan. 2022. Episodes 1 and 2 are available from Monday 10 January then new episodes of the six-part series will be made available weekly on Mondays. We will update on its availability in the US and worldwide.
To sign up for Acorn TV, visit www.acorn.tv or download the Acorn TV app on your favourite device to start your 30 day free trial. You can also get Under The Vines through Acorn TV on Amazon Prime Video (for extra charge).
Is there a trailer for 'Under the Vines' season 1?
Yes there's a very entertaining trailer for Under The Vines Season 1! Enjoy this taster of the sparkling new series below.
'Under the Vines' interview — Charles Edwards on Louis meeting Daisy...
Louis flies to Queenstown and sets about trying to sell the dilapidated vineyard cheaply and quickly. He’s keen to return home, even though his marriage and career are in tatters, and he’s gone viral for stripping off while blind drunk in Piccadilly Circus! Daisy, however, has other ideas...
“Louis gets a call saying his uncle Stanley has died and that he’s the sole heir to his vineyard. But when Louis flies out to Queenstown and meets Stanley’s stepdaughter Daisy at the airport he realises that ‘sole heir’ isn’t the operative phrase!” explains Charles Edwards, who was newspaper editor Michael Gregson in Downton Abbey and now plays Louis in Under The Vines.
“He’s attracted to Daisy, but when it becomes apparent that they’re linked in this inextricable way, he can tell that he's going to get bossed around!”
Charles Edwards on Louis trying, and failing, to take charge
After a quick look through Stanley’s finances, Louis is determined to sell off Oakley. Sampling the vineyard’s ‘BT’ wine [bloody terrible!] makes up his mind completely and he accepts an offer from neighbouring wine producers, Marissa (Sarah Peirse) and Don (John Bach).
Daisy, meanwhile, begins to experience remorse at how she soaked up Stanley’s money and never so much as visited him…
“When they examine this apparent dump in the middle of nowhere he’s keen to sell it and get out. But Daisy has more of a vision,” reveals Charles.
“Daisy's had this long term, very distant relationship with her stepfather Stanley and, after a while, she just started sending him a gift basket every year, as we all do with some of our relatives. I think subconsciously she’s looking for something else.”
Charles Edwards on personal lives in 'Under The Vines'
Prior to meeting Daisy’s living a fraught and rootless life in Sydney, while Louis’ home life and professional career are in disarray…
“His marriage to Simone (Shortland Street star Sara Wiseman) is rocky. But he feels duty bound to make it work for their son Julian (TV newcomer Sam Gardner). He’s also taking the rap for his business partner, who’s been embezzling funds,” explains Charles Edwards, 52, who plays Louis.
“Daisy's also at a crossroads. Something that Bec’s very keen to plant within the character is that she’s of an age where she's had the fillers, she likes younger men, she's a socialite, donating at charity dos - the cheques bounce! - but she knows deep down that her life is kind-of empty.
“In New Zealand Daisy awakens to that and is inspired to turn Oakley Winery around. Louis’ lost and needs leading, so he goes along with it. He’d never admit it, but he’s intrigued by and fancies her, basically!”
Charles Edwards on the filming locations
Under the Vines Season 1 was filmed on location in Central Otago, New Zealand in 2021.
“We were based on the South Island and filmed between February and April last year. It was like stepping into another world. It’s a lovely, real vineyard. They overgrew the vines and made it look shabbier than it is for filming," reveals Charles.
“Throughout the series you’ll see it gradually improves as we discover this charming dilapidated place has potential. At weekends we did a bit of ‘research’ and enjoyed some of the local produce!"
'Under the Vines' season 1 — other characters and who else is starring
As soon as Louis and Daisy land in New Zealand they meet a host of characters including hapless lawyer Vic, two very different Oakley employees - optimistic employee Gus and enigmatic Tippy, plus married couple Don and Marissa, who have their sights on owning Oakley.
“Lawyer Vic is played by Cohen Holloway (Top of the Lake) and he’s untiringly hilarious, very funny and very warm,” says Charles.
“Vineyard employee Tippy (Killer Sofa star Trae Te Wiki) keeps popping up and scaring the hell out of Louis and Daisy. She’s a mystery but has magic bones as far as wine’s concerned. Other employee Gus (Golden Boy's Simon Mead) is hugely lovely and could solve all their problems if only they’d let him!
“Then there’s Don (Jack Irish star John Bach) and Marissa (Sweet Tooth's Sarah Peirse), the king and queen of the area. They’re successful wine producers and have their eye on Oakley. They need toppling!”
'Under The Vines' season 1 — behind the scenes
In more than one scene Louis gets legless. The most memorable? When he goes viral after being filmed drunk as a lord and running naked through Piccadilly Circus, earning the moniker, ‘Piccadilly Willy’.
“Louis has got into a drinking habit, which he enjoys! But it gets him into trouble,” laughs Charles. “It was very funny filming the [naked Piccadilly Circus] sequence in a disused airport room in New Zealand wearing what’s known as a modesty pouch - a bit of old stocking with tape on it. The glamour!
“I really enjoy playing drunk. I stagger around beforehand to get off centre and then try and focus on something!”
Charles Edwards on pandemic filming of 'Under The Vines' in New Zealand in 2021
The cast and crew followed strict pandemic protocol when filming.
“It was a bubble within a bubble. New Zealand itself was a bubble because it was Covid free and then we had our show bubble. It was a curious but joyful experience,” says Charles.
“We went to an outdoor concert to see Crowded House on a beautiful, warm night. I sent a video to a friend of mine back in England and he said ‘That's like a message from the future’. I loved the way he put that.”
Will there be an 'Under The Vines' season 2?
Yes! During the series Louis and Daisy become increasingly committed to Oakley Winery and the endearing ensemble characters so there will be a season 2 of Under The Vines.
“It’s a lovely, warm world to step into. Even though it’s a fish-out-of-water story it’s different, and that’s in the writing, the humour and great actors. It’s funny and touching,” says Charles.
“You’ve got two lost souls connecting. It’s inspiring in a way. I’m very excited about going back in February to film the second series. Louis might have to loosen up a bit!”
What viewers can expect from 'Under the Vines' season 2...
From the press release: “Season two will see lovable socialite Daisy Monroe and London lawyer Louis Oakley continue to navigate running the Otago winery they inherited. They also have to navigate their feelings for each other but love, like a fine wine, is always complicated.
“Along the way, Oakley Wines’ up-and-coming winemaker Tippy (Trae Te Wiki) faces challenges of her own when a rockstar French vintner is hired by a rival winery.
“Production on the six-episode second season will commence early 2022 in picturesque Central Otago, New Zealand.”
Star and Executive Producer Rebecca Gibney said: “I am beyond thrilled that we were commissioned to commence Season 2 of Under the Vines even before it has gone to air. It shows such enormous faith in our series and I am very grateful to Acorn TV and TVNZ for their amazing support.
"To be given the opportunity to work with the phenomenally talented Charles Edwards and to showcase not only the incredible talent here in New Zealand but the majesty of the location in the South Island was such a gift and I have no doubt Season 2 will bring as much joy and heart this time around.”
'Under The Vines' — what else we know
Under the Vines is created and co-written by Erin White (Other People’s Problems, Doctor Doctor, The PM’s Daughter) and produced by Libertine Pictures (Daffodils, Mystic) and EQ Media Group (Jack Irish, Doctor Doctor) in association with Hardy White Pictures. Acorn TV has all rights worldwide with the exception of TVNZ in New Zealand.
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